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Techniques Public speaking > Preparing the Presentation > SQ3R

Survey | Question | Read | Recite | Review | See also


Here's a simple set of things to do when you are preparing your speech or presentation.


Start by using a survey or other form of research so you can know Your audience. This may be a survey of the people coming to your presentation or maybe a survey of your wider constituency. In either case it gives you hard data to use and address in your speech.


Identify the questions that your audience might ask (perhaps as indicated by points from the survey). In particular consider each of the Kipling questions.

Think about how you would answer the questions you identify, including which should be directly answered in your speech, which you should prepare for at question time and which you will be able to handle 'on the fly'.


When practicing your speech, start by reading one point at a time and internalizing it before moving on to the next point. Initially do not add detail -- just get the main points fixed in your head. Then add the further information, possibly also in several separate layers of detail.


Practice the speech out loud. Recite it as if you were speaking to the audience. Use a video or mirror to check how it sounds. Practice initially in a normal speaking voice and later at full projection volume (although this may not be necessary if you will be using a microphone). Do listen to the intonation and also watch you body language.


Review and revise the speech as necessary. Sometimes you will see the need to review early on and sometimes only when reciting it and reflecting on what will be heard and what questions you are answering will you realize the need for change.

After review and revision, do remember to practice further. Reviewing after significant practice can be troublesome for memory so reviewing easier is better.

Depending on your confidence and ability, you may review late, even on the day after meeting with members of the audience and listening to other speaker.

See also

Questioning techniques

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